The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
by Kevin Young
HV6691 .Y674 2017
New Arrivals Island, 2nd floor
Poet and critic Kevin Young writes with humor about “bunk” in this country. Call it what you will, balderdash, bosh, fakery, flimflam, forgery, fraud, spin, or twaddle; these are all variations on the theme of bunk and are things to think seriously about. This book is filled with many examples of bunk that will entertain you while getting across the message of the book. Far from being a new phenomenon, bunk has existed for centuries in many forms. The time frame covered includes recent and more distant stories. Not only the “fake news” of Donald Trump, but also the “humbug” of PT Barnum, and other falsehoods of people who lived either recently or long ago. Bunk is woven from stereotype and suspicion. Kevin Young considers race to be the most insidious American hoax. According to Young, “the hoax reminds us, uncomfortably, that the stories we tell don’t just express the society of the self, they construct it” (p. 432).